Christmas gift guides
We're bringing you a tech-focused Christmas gift guide every day up to the big day itself, to help fuel your present buying inspiration.
Day 1: Apple fans | 2: Photographers | 3: Switch gamers | 4: Xbox gamers | 5: PS4 games | 6: Retro gamers | 7: PC gamers | 8: Lego fans | 9: Music lovers | 10: Mobile gamers | 11: Home cinema dreamers | 12: Home cooks | 13: Smart home starter kit | 14: Tech for kids | 15: Fitness fans | 16: Creatives | 17: Runners | 18: Commuters | 19: Pet owners | 20: Those who have everything | 21: Next-day delivery | 22: Gift vouchers | 23: Amazon last minute | 24: e-Gifts
To quote John Lennon, so this is Christmas, and what have you done? If that answer is 'no shopping', don't worry. The stores may be closed and next-day delivery no longer possible, but there are still lots of options that can be delivered online instantly, or scheduled to arrive in their email inbox on Christmas morning.
We're not just talking about the reliable standby of gift vouchers, either – there are lots of great last minute e-gifts available so you can choose something thoughtful at the 11th hour. Here we've picked out the presents we'd be glad to receive, even if we knew they'd been purchased at the last minute.
Before giving a subscription as a gift, it's worth bearing in mind whether the recipient will be able to keep it up afterwards, and what will happen if they don't. For example, if their Amazon Prime subscription expires, they'll no longer have unlimited space on Amazon's servers to upload their photos, and will need to save them all before they're deleted. Similarly, if you don't live with the person you're buying for, it's worth checking with someone who does to find out if they already have a subscription to a rival service.
That said, the right e-gift can show that you really know someone, while also giving them the freedom to enjoy it how they see fit. If you've left your gift-buying a little too late, or realized you've missed someone off your list, these are our top recommendations.
The year's most exciting subscription service
A last-minute gift that'll catapult you straight into their good books, a Disney+ subscription will give them decades of nostalgia on tap, plus instant access to brand new high-budget TV shows and movies, including the full Star Wars saga.
You can buy a physical 12-month Disney+ gift card at Disney stores and resorts, but it's also possible to buy a gift subscription online, which will be emailed to you in the form of a code that you can forward to the lucky recipient, or write in their Christmas card. To redeem the code, they simply need to visit disneyplus.com/redeememail, select the offer and type it in.
Unfortunately Disney+ is currently only available in the US, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (though it'll be rolling out more widely in the new year). For full details, check out our Disney Plus review.
Free delivery and all the best deals come Amazon Prime Day
If your loved one spends half their waking hours tearing tape off Amazon boxes, and you don't mind further enabling their retail addiction, an AmazonPrime subscription could be the perfect last-minute gift. Not only will it save them a bundle on delivery fees, it'll also give them full access to all the special deals when Amazon Prime Day rolls around in July.
It's not just about shopping, though; they'll also get a free Kindle ebook to read each month, access to Amazon Prime Instant Video (featuring hundreds of shows and movies, including Mr Robot, Carnival Row and The Expanse), and song streaming through Prime Music.
There are also a few unusual extras, like Amazon Prime Photos, which gives you unlimited space on Amazon's capacious servers for backing up all your snaps. Photos can be backed up from your phone instantly, or added manually from a PC or Mac. Prime members get early access to each day's Lightning Deals too, though Prime Early Access.
A one-year Amazon Prime subscription is a pretty extravagant gift, but you can also choose a more affordable three-month option
Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Give your beloved bookworm the gift of choice
An Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription is a great last-minute gift for bookworms, giving the lucky recipient unlimited access to over a million ebooks, hundreds of magazines, and thousands of Audible audiobooks.
They won't be able to pick absolutely anything from the Kindle archives, but the selection is impressive nonetheless, and includes a wealth of bestsellers. They don't need a Kindle device to use it, either; it works just fine with the Kindle apps for desktop, iOS, Android and iPadOS.
You can give Amazon Kindle Unlimited as a three-month, six-month or one-year subscription. Just make sure you have the right email address for their Kindle account before ordering. If you're not certain, it's best to order them a Kindle gift card instead. You can still get it delivered instantly on Christmas morning. You can also buy a single ebook as a gift by selecting 'Buy for others' when shopping on Amazon's desktop site.
Satisfaction guaranteed for PC gamers
Delivery: Instant or scheduled
Steam, the colossal PC gaming marketplace owned by Valve, is a fantastic destination if you need a last-minute gift for a keen gamer. Provided you know their Steam ID, you can choose a game from their wishlist (guaranteeing that it'll be something they want) and schedule it for delivery on Christmas morning, then it'll pop into their library automatically and they'll never know you only placed the order at 10pm on Christmas Eve.
If they haven't set up a Steam wishlist, not to worry - you can always get them a Steam gift card, which they can spend at their leisure. This is also a good choice if they use Steam, but you don't know their ID and don't want to give the game away by asking,
Steam isn't an option in your loved one is a console gamer, but if they're wedded to their desktop then it's a fantastic option and will give them hours of enjoyment.
Millions of tracks available to stream ad-free, instantly
There's a lot of competition, but Spotify remains our music streaming service of choice, and a Spotify Premium subscription makes an excellent last minute gift for anyone who's currently using the ad-supported free version.
Spotify Premium puts millions of songs at their fingertips (the exact number is thought to be around 40 million), with an intuitive interface that's easy to use and offers various easy ways to discover new music.
Its smart playlists, podcasts and social sharing tools put it head and shoulders above many other music streaming services, and the lucky recipient of your gift will be able to download tracks to three devices at a time for offline listening (great if they're planning a trip overseas, or have a phone contract with a limited data allowance).
Of course, there are many other music streaming services, any of which would make a great last-minute gift, including Apple Music, Pandora and Tidal. For more info, check out our guide to the best music streaming services.